Tech stocks help pull markets higher

Tech stocks help pull markets higher

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang shows off one of the firm's processors, which are in high demand for building AI applications. (Photo: AFP)
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang shows off one of the firm's processors, which are in high demand for building AI applications. (Photo: AFP)

LONDON: Global stocks markets rose on Tuesday thanks to a rebound in tech shares, although investors remained concerned by China's lacklustre economy and the outlook for US interest rates.

An 8.5% jump on Monday in shares in Nvidia — the leader in processors used for developing artificial intelligence applications — set a positive tone for trading across Asia and in Europe on Tuesday.

Nvidia shares jumped another 2.5% at the start of trading in New York as investors staked out positions ahead of the company reporting second quarter results on Wednesday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 0.7% at the start of trading, adding to a 1.6-percent jump on Monday due a broad rally in tech shares.

The Dow edged higher and the broader S&P 500 rose 0.4%.

The "market has a bounce in its step this morning", said analyst Patrick O'Hare.

European stocks were higher in afternoon trading, boosted as well by a drop in bond yields.

The gains followed a mixed showing on Monday, when investors tried to turn the tide of losses that have swept over markets in recent weeks.

Markets globally have struggled this month on the prospect that the US Federal Reserve will hike borrowing costs once more before the end of the year in a bid to bring inflation to heel.

A string of data out of Washington in recent weeks has indicated the world's top economy remains resilient and the jobs sector tight, even after more than a year of rising interest rates squeezing companies and consumers.

This has prompted concerns that the Fed could lift rates further and possibly push the economy into recession.

A planned speech this week by Fed chief Jerome Powell at a gathering of central bankers and business leaders will be closely watched for some guidance on officials' thinking and future policy.

"Each incremental hike that they have from here just raises the risk that we have a much sharper slowdown in 2024 and perhaps even a recession," Lori Heinel, at State Street Global Advisors, told Bloomberg Television.

However, she added that "as long as inflation remains contained, we think that they will take a pause here".

There is also still unease among traders about the Chinese economy, with another small cut in interest rates doing little to allay fears of a painful slowdown.

While authorities have pledged a series of measures to get the post-Covid recovery back on track, there has been little detail and they are facing growing calls to unveil more wide-ranging stimulus.

"There are doubts about the effectiveness of further monetary policy stimulus ability to support sluggish credit demand, with the narrower follow-through from the lending finance rate last week leaving hopes for broader stimulus with fiscal policy," said National Australia Bank's Taylor Nugent.

Adding to the problems are fears about the country's property sector. A number of major developers, including Country Garden and Evergrande, are on the ropes with vast debts and struggling to meet interest obligations.

"Policy easing announcements intended to invigorate market confidence have fallen short of their desired impact," said SPI Asset Management's Stephen Innes.

Key figures at 1330 GMT

New York - Dow: UP less than 0.1% at 34,473.37 points

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5% at 7,294.17

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.0% at 15,755.40

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.0% at 7,269.21

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.3% at 4,279.43

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.9% at 31,856.71 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.0% at 17,791.01 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.9% at 3,120.33 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0860 from $1.0897 on Monday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2740 from $1.2755

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.25 pence from 85.41 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 145.99 from 146.22 yen

West Texas Intermediate: UP less than 0.1% at $80.76 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN less than 0.1% at $84.40 per barrel

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